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Maricic leads Oregon netters to Sweet 16

EUGENE — Before the Oregon volleyball team heads to the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history, it was announced Wednesday that junior Gorana Maricic was named to the AVCA Division I All-Region Team.

She was the only Duck to earn the honor, and one of 11 players in the Pacific-10 Conference, who filled out the 12-member team for the Pacific Region.

Maricic has helped lead Oregon to its most wins (22-10) in over two decades, and the program's deepest run in the NCAA Tournament.

She is currently averaging 6.01 points and 5.43 kills per game to lead the Ducks and the Pac-10. The first-year player, who redshirted in 2006, has also set three single-season records; total points (649.5), points per game (6.01) and kills per game (5.43). Maricic leads the team with 13 double-doubles this season, and in 32 matches played, has fallen short of double-figure kills just once.

In the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, Maricic posted double-doubles in each match, and is currently averaging 5.25 kills and 3.62 digs per game in the postseason.

A week ago, Maricic was named to the Pac-10 all-conference team, becoming the first player since Madeline Ernst in 1998 to receive the honor.

Earlier this year, the native of Subotica, Serbia, became the first Oregon volleyball player in the program's history, to be named National Player of the Week. She received the honor on Nov. 12, after leading Oregon to back-to-back victories over then ninth-ranked USC (3-1) and then sixth-ranked UCLA (3-0).

Maricic hit a combined .382 against the two top-10 foes, averaging 7.71 kills and 3.71 digs per game. She was also named Pac-10 Player of the Week for her efforts.

The 6-foot-3 junior outside hitter is the first player in the program's history to be named to an all-region team since Michelle Krebsbach was named all-Northwest Region First Team in 1989.

The Ducks, currently ranked ninth in the nation, will play a familiar foe in No. 8 UCLA at 7 p.m. on Friday in a familiar setting, Maples Pavilion.

The match can be watched on ESPNU and fans can also follow live stats on www.ncaasports.com.

If the Ducks get past UCLA, they would play the winner of No. 11 Cal Poly and No. 4 Stanford at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, also televised on ESPNU.